Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ode for St. Cecilia's Day

A musical tradition in England concerned popular (nonliturgical) writing to honor St. Cecilia, and it seems appropriate to remember that on this St. Cecilia's day that, according to medieval tradition, she is not only patron saint of a certain kind of sacred music but all music, of which liturgical music is the queen.

So this performance of a portion of Handel's own Ode to St. Cecilia is particularly fitting.

Featured below is the chorus "From Harmony," which is so lovely. But also consider the words from "What Art Can Teach":

But oh! what art can teach,
What human voice can reach
The sacred organ's praise?
Notes inspiring holy love,
Notes that wing their heavenly ways
To mend the choirs above.

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